SUEZANNE AWOTWI & VIDA BLACK
FOUNDERS OF BRIGHTSTARS
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The story of Brightstars begun with two lifelong friends coming together to provide a service which aimed to fill a gap in their community in regards to the provision of a creative centre young people with autism.
Vida, Co-Founder and Vice Chair of Brightstars has a lovely son (Claude), who has autism. When Claude turned 18 and left formal education there was not much for him to do within his community. A couple of clubs that he attended could not cater for him anymore and the only one that did was on monthly basis. This lack of social interaction impacted adversely on Claude. He became withdrawn and irritable which had an adverse impact on his family. Vida spoke to Suezanne who has known Claude all his life. Suezanne was touched by Vida’s commitment to Claude and her vision to set up a club to support him and others who were in a similar postion.
After extensive research in the Hornsey area of London Borough of Haringey area, we identified the need for a club for young people with similar needs like Claude. There were parents and carers looking for somewhere safe and fun for their children, who had autism, to go to and have fun away from home.
With no resources, we used our personal savings to set up a club to provide a much-needed service in the community. Hence Brightstars was born on 1 February 2014 initially with 3 members and their parents. We are proud to report that we now have over 20 members and 30 parents, carers and supporters and have been awarded a charitable status by HMRC. We officially launched on 5th May 2018.
Click here for news on the launch. The Launch – 5th May 2018
We do need your support to be able to continue running the club, so do donate as much or as little as you can, we would be appreciative. Please see our contact page for more information on donations. MAKE A DONATION HERE
Thank you for reading our story
Suezanne and Vida